by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In Lignano, the no.9 seed and the highest rated player required to compete in the initial group stage of proceedings; in her opening contest in the main draw, she accounted for Japan’s Satsuki Odo, before causing one of the tournament’s major upsets.
On her next visit to the table, she overcame Spain’s Zhang Xuan, the no.2 seed, prior reserving her place in the penultimate round courtesy of success in opposition to Serbia Sabina Surjan, the player seeded one place below.
Alas for the now 17 years old German, she was beaten by Japan’s Maki Shiomi, the champion elect.
Finalist earlier in year
A semi-final place; for two of her major rivals, Portugal’s Raquel Andrade and India’s Diya Parag Chitale, one step higher has been their best finish on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit.
Raquel Andrade, the no.3 seed in Hammamet behind Germany’s Selja Fazlic, a player who has made just one appearance this year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit being present the Slovak Republic, is one of the more familiar faces on the international junior scene.
Prior to the Sopal Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open, Raquel Andrade had competed in no less than six ITTF World Junior Circuit tournaments.
On home soil she reached the quarter-finals of the Junior Girls’ Singles event in Vilanova de Gaia, having some six weeks earlier been the runner up in Egypt, when beaten in the final by the host nation’s Amira Yousry.
Impressive in Qatar
Similarly, at the Aspire Qatar Junior and Cadet Open in February, only 14 years old, Diya Parag Chitale reached the final of the Junior Girls’ Singles event, where she lost to her more senior compatriot, Selena Selvakumar.
Notably in Qatar, Diya Parag Chitale won the Cadet Girls’ Singles title, she may well do the same in Tunisia.
A total of 23 girls will compete in the Sopal 2016 Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open.